Our 1st Annual "Icky Hoop Contest" has been a huge success! Photographs and top tips streamed in from all around the globe. We asked our readers to not only submit photos of their ickiest hoops, but we also asked for their tried and true methods of cleaning their embroidery hoops as well!
Just as there is more than one way to accomplish the same end result, the same is true for cleaning your embroidery hoop as you will be able to tell from reading this article! So here is a list of ideas in which our SWAKembroidery.com customers have submitted. I'm sure you will be bound to find something in which you will find useful in cleaning your very "well-loved" hoops!
"BABY WIPES! They are so easy and inexpensive! I keep a supply in my sewing room and wipe my hoops with them every so often. They will even clean the hoops that have a build-up of sticky spray! I love them! Remember, a clean hoop is a happy hoop." :) - Linda
"Baby wipes do the job for me...simple and they also remove stains in fabric. Just wipe with cloth as soon as possible." -T.J.
"I have the CLEANEST HOOP!" My tip: I NEVER use spray adhesive! It is horrible in many ways although it works well, I know. How about just using a school glue stick= no mess. And it goes right where you want it to and nowhere else!" -Debi
"Williams Lectric Shave is an electric razor pre-shave lotion. It takes the sticky goo off and smells so good. Cheaper than Goo Gone." -Helen
"Not only do my hoops look shiny and new, they smell delish! I use Williams Lectric Shave to clean my hoops! It takes the gunk right off and leaves them smelling great! Plus it is very inexpensive and non-toxic." -Kay
"Thanks to Goo Gone and baby wipes, my hoops are just like new and this makes me happy the next time I go to embroider something." -Jeanne
"The very best hoop cleaner I have found is a product called "Goo Gone." It comes in a small bottle. I have recently seen it in a gel spray. It is great to remove anything sticky....It will even remove gum from the carpet- I can testify to that! No home should be without it!" -Elizabeth
"I use Goo Gone on everything. Then clean thoroughly with soap and water." -Mary Alice
"First I used to let my hoops get extremely "icky" before cleaning them, and then a friend suggested I use acetone. You put some into a bucket and dip the hoop into it and it comes out clean. You should do this outside though. Now, I just try to clean my hoops every two or three uses with "Goo Gone" It's a little easier to handle and I can do it in my sewing room." -Josie
"I clean them occasionally with Dawn dishwashing detergent. I let them soak awhile and it just peels off with no effort." -Patsy
"When I need to clean my hoop, I just soak it in warm water with a little dishwasher soap. After a short soak, I take a toothpick and gently rub the guck and it comes right off!" -Dianne
"If there are embroiderers, like me, who have OCD, EVERYTIME I embroider (or that day), I simply wash mine with Dawn dishwashing soap and voila! No build-up. You might have to use a sponge, but it works fine and then I do not worry about damaging the hoop. I know, who wants to spend time in the kitchen when they can be sewing/embroidering/quilting...." :) -Joanne
"Wow, you made me look at my hoop with open eyes. I have a lot of excuses, but none valid. I used a soft brush and dishwashing liquid. Now it is clean and bright again...ready for the next "spray!" LOL -Mariana
"Although I personally think that an icky hoop makes for better embroidery (LOL), I soak my icky hoops in Oxi-Clean, and they come out just like new." -Sheila
"I have found an easy way to clean them. I soak them in Oxi-Clean and enough water to cover the hoops. After a short while, the "ickie" just lifts off and you can clean the hoops like lifting a rubberband. It's pretty slick and have done it for years." -Barb
"I have finally found something that really works for me with no scrubbing. A coop full of awesome oxygen clean from the Dollar Store in warm water till dissolved. Then place hoops in and let soak 15-30 minutes. It depends on how bad your hoops are. Dry off. I take the hair dryer to the screw part of the hoop for a few minutes to keep it from rusting. The glue just floats to the top of the water. Please give it a try." -Doris
"When my hoop gets icky, I reach for my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It works like a charm everytime, without any nasty odors. It also works really well on my embroidery machine. Another bonus, is that there is no residue left on anything after cleaning. Try it...it really is magic!"
"I use WD-40 on my hoops. They clean up in a hurry." -Alicia
"What I found that works for severe layers is to spray the hoop with WD-40 and put it into a sealed Ziplock bag for an hour or so. After that, I take it out and clean it up. It's always better afterwards!" -Michelle
"I like to soak my hoop in a little bath of warm water and baking soda. After I let it soak for a bit (at least 10 minutes or longer), any residue left to clean I do by making a simple paste by adding baking soda and enough water to form the paste. Then I use an old toothbrush and srub-a-dub-dub it clean! Works every time." -Jennifer
"To clean my embroidery hoops, I just use plain ole' white vinegar. It is a product I usually have on hand, is inexpensive, is a natural product with no petroleum additives to dry out and make the hoop brittle. Just place a bit on a clean rag and wipe over the goo several times. (May require repeated times if your hoops are too icky.) I usually clean after each spray adhesive use so that there is no build-up. Keep some of the little make-up cleaning pads near your machine, and just wet with some vinegar, and you are good to go!" -Judith
Other Very Worthwhile Tips....
"When doing an applique design, or anytime using spray adhesive, I spray the adhesive on the piece of fabric that will be the applique away from the hoop. That keeps the adhesive from getting on the hoop and keeps it looking nice and pretty!" -Mika
"I cut out a template to expose the embroidery area that I will be doing, while covering the embroidery hoop. I set the template over the hoop and spray and remove the template before I continue. At first I just did the templates out of paper towel, but I found I used this method quite a bit, so I made them out of stencil plastic that can be cleaned or after many uses, thrown away and replaced. I also keep a package of diaper wipes in my sewing room and use those to wipe off the stencil after each use." -Pat
"Well, I can't take credit for a clean hoop, I just got this machine new!" -Kaye :)